Matt Harvey, rarely referred to the Dark Night these days, returns to the mound Friday night against the Milwaukee Brewers after a nine day layoff.
The former ace was suspended by the New York Mets for three days after he failed to show up for a game last Saturday. Newly acquired Tommy Milone instead got the start on Wednesday against the San Francisco Giants and was in position to get the win before the ninth inning collapse.
“My job now is to move forward and do everything I can to help this team and this organization get back,” Harvey told Matt Ehalt of the North Jersey. “Get myself get back on track and help this team win.”
Harvey is still finding his way back on the mound following surgery last July to relieve his thoracic outlet syndrome symptoms. This season he is 2-2 with a 5.24 ERA, 1.286 WHIP and a career worst 1.54 SO/W ratio.
“This guy was the best pitcher in the game, when he made (baseball) the priority. When he makes that the priority again he’ll be back,” Collins said Tuesday after Harvey’s apology.
The rotation behind Jacob deGrom has largely been a question mark, and he’s even dealing with his own command issues.
Fastball velocity has certainly been an issue for Harvey thus far this season, it’s down to 94.95 MPH after being at 96.46 in 2015 and 95.39 last season. With the decreased velocity opponents have an incredible .523 slugging percentage off Harvey’s four-seam fastball.
Harvey has tried to rely on his slider more this season throwing it a career high 22.32% of the time. Instead, one suggestion I would have for Harvey is to throw his curveball more often (career low 6.8% right now). Hitters have a measly .250 slugging percantage against his curve and have a 24.32 whiff percentage (for reference, Chris Sale has 18.84 whiff % with slider this year) against the pitch.